Safety critical work


This page details the legal requirements for safety-critical workers carrying out safety-critical tasks.

The Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 (as amended) (ROGS) contain provisions for the management of the competence, fitness and fatigue of safety critical workers.

The requirements are in Part 4 of ROGS and the provisions on fatigue are supported by guidance.

The requirements of Part 4 of ROGS will apply to all dutyholders working on a transport system, for example, track contractors. Duty holders with an established Safety Management System (SMS) must also explain how safety critical work is managed. These dutyholders are known in Part 4 of ROGS as the 'controller of safety-critical work'.

A competent person must carry out safety critical tasks. These tasks include driving and dispatching trains, signalling, installation of components and maintenance, ensuring safety of persons working on the track (provision of protection), etc. Any worker carrying out safety critical work as part of practical training, for the purpose of obtaining experience towards developing competence as a safety critical worker, must be supervised by a competent safety critical worker.

Controllers of safety-critical work must have suitable and sufficient arrangements in place to monitor the competence and fitness of safety-critical workers.

The Railway (Access to Training Services) Regulations 2006 allow railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and their staff who perform safety critical tasks, to have access to training services. 

A railway undertaking applying for a safety certificate in accordance with Part 2 of the Safety Regulations is entitled to fair and non-discriminatory access to training services for train drivers and staff accompanying the trains, whenever such training is necessary for the fulfilment of requirements to obtain that safety certificate. The services offered must include training on:

  • Necessary route knowledge;
  • Operating rules and procedures;
  • The signalling and control command system; and 
  • Emergency procedures in respect of the routes operated. 

An infrastructure manager, and any of their staff performing safety critical tasks, is entitled to fair and non-discriminatory access to training services. If the training services to which access is granted under the Regulations are available only through the services of one single railway undertaking or infrastructure manager, that railway undertaking or infrastructure manager must make those services available to other railway undertakings or infrastructure managers at a fair and reasonable price. 

The entitlement to access to training services in the Regulations includes the right of access to facilities that form a part of those training services, including where the facilities do not form part of a railway system. 

The Regulations provide railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, staff of an infrastructure manager performing safety critical tasks or employees of railway undertakings, with a right of appeal to ORR if access to training services is denied, or if they believe the price charged for access to these services is unreasonable or discriminatory. Please contact for further information on how to appeal under the Regulations. 

These Regulations do not apply to railways which are regarded as non-mainline in ROGS.